A PERFORMANCE BY BJØRK GRUE LIDIN
CONSENT FUCKED is a fluid mess of incivility, subjectivity, permeability, objects and abjections.
I Collected my blood in a menstrual cup in preparation and kept it in a jar by my desk, always visible. Its omnipresence sparked an unexpected reaction in me. A feeling of anger, openness and confusion unfolded while the orderliness of expectations and taboos became orderless.
On the day of the performance, the application of one-week old blood to my crotch and around my body led to a disassociation of the same blood that I had willingly kept and felt transformed by. The disassociation manifested itself in paranoia and fear of infection.
CONSENT FUCKED took place at a range of public venues, one of which was a metro station. At the station I wrapped tape printed with the word ‘Fragile’ around my body. However, my grip was loosened when another body on the platform came to contact with the jar and its bloody content became a sea on the platform. Despite my detachment from the blood I desperately attempted to collect some of it back into the jar, whilst about twenty people were standing in a circle around me.
With most of the skin of my body exposed and no way to recapture the red fluid that was once internal to me the ‘Fragile’ taped around me came to appear as a pathetic attempt to uphold the division between my ‘female’ embodiment, the ground, the train, the photographer, the audience and the rejected blood. It created a performance that failed to reinvent embodied subjectivity. The loss of control and the lack of desire to contain myself allowed me to urinate publicly without concern for expected conventions. Or did I have no option to contain my self? After all, I did not appear as a legible ‘subject’ in any hegemon understanding of the word; I, the subject, let go of the desire for recognition, performing non-compliance.
The potent element of ‘losing control’, performing non-compliance and thus failing to uphold subjectivity that reproduces the desire for recognition and the skin as seal – a boundary with layers and layers of inscribed meanings that determine the conditions for subjectivity – lies in the emergence of collectivity. Collectivity in my experience emerges out of a failed attempt to uphold subjectivity rather than an attempt to create collective human organisation. It manifests itself as the merging of otherwise separated entities and the collapse of civility. This potentialises a radical move away from forces and structures not by actively fighting them but instead by neglecting the premises of their functioning.
Artwork © Bjørk Grue Lidin and Yasmine Akim
Featured in Vagina Dentata (Ditto Press) by Yasmine Akim